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Posco rehab rejected

india Updated: Jul 12, 2010 00:48 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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The outfit spearheading the movement against South Korean steel maker Posco's proposed plant near Paradip port in Orissa's Jagatsinghpur district has rejected the rehabilitation package for oustees announced by the Naveen Patnaik government.

The Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti on Sunday decided to intensify the movement against the project and debar the entry of government officials and police into the area.

At a public meeting at Dhinkia, 120 km from Bhubaneswar, the samiti said the state chief minister had "betrayed" the people by announcing a rehabilitation package without visiting the area that the project proposes to cover.

An official copy of the package was burnt at the meeting, which was attended by about 3,000 people, mostly women.

The government had announced a Rs 70-crore rehabilitation package on Friday for the 3,000 families who would be displaced by the proposed steel plant.

The package fixed a compensation of Rs 17 lakh per acre of private land, Rs 11.50 lakh per acre of land under betel vine cultivation and Rs 2 lakh per acre for ponds used for prawn farming.

"We have repeatedly told the government that we are not after any package. We want the shifting of the project site. Our movement will continue till we achieve our goal. No police and administration officials will be allowed into the area again," samiti leader Abhay Sahoo said told the gathering.

PPSS leaders said that no package can replace the thriving agro-economy based on betel vine cultivation and prawn production. Instead, if the plant came up, it would destroy the livelihood of thousands.

Posco, the world's fourth largest steel company, had signed an MoU with the Orissa government in June 2005 to set up a plant that would produce 12 million tonnes of steel per year.

The estimated investment involved is Rs 54,000 crore.